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Are Edtech Startups Making an Impact to the Education Sector of Our Country?

India is transforming and the major reason behind this transformation is because the way our country is leveraging the technology to re-create and revolutionalize different sectors. According to a Mckinsey report, newer digital tools like Cloud Computing, Advanced Genomics and many others could have a combined global economic impact of $550 billion to $1 Trillion a year by 2025.

Several tech startups in India are quietly changing the dynamics of the education landscape of our country. With our governments resilient push by increasing the digital reach to drive progress and economic growth our education sector is now ripe and ready. According to Edustars survey, 61% of the companies in India have built mobile and tablet apps in the education space. 54% of them leverage the cloud for their startups while 32% use video technology. A satisfactory 32% of the edtech startups present in India are earning between Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs. 1 Crore per year and 25% of the startups are earning over Rs. 1 Crore Per Annum.

Zishaan Hayath, Founder of Toppr, an online test preparation platform says that India’s Education sector is the next front that needs to be conquered using technology. He adds that via technology their platform is able to adapt question papers to a personal level. This way they can figure out the weaknesses of a student based on past performance and serve him or her appropriate content and questions.

Videos have always been the most engaging form of content on the internet space. Most of these edtech startups use technology to compress data so that video streaming or pre-recorded video content can be sent over even at the speed of a 2G Connection. The segment that has most players involved in the edtech space is the Online Test Preparation. The entrance exams like IIT, IIM, UPSC or Bank Exams are the focus of many edtech startups.

Karan Mohla from IDG Ventures, an investor in a startup called SuperProfs and also one of the business mentors, says that due to startups like SuperProfs a student is not constrained to major hubs of IIT and IIM Coaching. SuperProfs have tied up with 200 Professors across the country to upload their video lectures. Students post lectures can also get their doubts cleared by booking a slot for a live online session with professors. They ensure to bring the best of the teaching talents from cities like Kota, Chennai, Delhi, Bengaluru, etc.

Vedantu is another growing edtech startup of India, which is disrupting the online tutoring market. Vedantu works as an online marketplace where students and teachers can meet and select one another. They charge Rs. 150 to 250 per hour for coaching students from 6th to 12th standard. Students can rate teachers, which is visible to the new students to make an informed choice. Although, we feel that Online Education is still in its initial phase, but we see a much larger number of investors, which is total 60 being drawn to edtech space in India than in the same time in 2014, which was 35. Even globally, as the data from VC investment tracking firm CB Insights suggests that there is a phenomenal 71% increase in the investments to ed tech space from the year 2013 to 2014. Financing grew from $944 million in 2013 to $1.6 billion in 2014.

There is a definite traction for ed tech products in the market, but edtech startups are facing several problems as well. As per the Edustars Survey, when startups were asked about the challenges faced by them, 50% of the startups said elongated sales cycle as their biggest problem. With 39% stating their biggest issue was user adoption. Lack of awareness was the problem with 32% of the startups. While the rest pointed out at several issues like unable to attract talented employees, raising funds and difficulty running a for-profit model in the education space.

The majority of startups in India from edtech space are in early stages, but fortunately, most of them are reporting sizable traction, but the overall scenario is positive and both investors and entrepreneurs seem to be thrilled about the potential of the sector.

A Review Of Engineering Education In India

Engineering and Technical education in India have been developing faster than anywhere else in the world since the early eighties, due to rapid industrialization and economic growth. Indian now has the second largest number of engineering students in the world. English is the only medium if instructions in all engineering institutions. In a recent assessment by the United Nations, the Indian economy was rated as the sixth largest in the world and is expected to move into the fourth place by the end of this century Recent advances in scientific, industrial and technological areas, particularly in space, nuclear and missile technology, computer engineering and information science have earned India world recognition as an emerging global power.

The word “engineering” derived from the Latin word “ingeniare” means “to design” or “to create”. Engineering can be defined as “the branch of science and technology concerned with the design, building, and use of engines, machines and structures” and “technology” as the “application of scientific knowledge for practical purpose, especially in industry”. Engineering education in India has a long tradition, the beginning of which goes back to the year 1847. In that year was established the Thomason College of Civil Engineering at Roorkee, later to become the Roorkee University (1949), the first engineering university in the country. The development of technical education has been one of the major achievements of the post-Independence period. The creation of the All-India Council of Technical Education in 1945, and the Report of the Scientific Manpower Committee (1947) has a far reaching influence in this development.

The growth of educational facilities has been phenomenal during the last decade. The outturn of graduates in engineering doubled within a span of 10 years from about 30,000 in 1987 to 60,000 in 1996. During the same period, the outturn of polytechnic diploma holders increased from 56,560 to 95,283. In view of the large-scale proliferation of institutions, the AICTE is keen to ensure that the quality of programmes offered by them is not compromised with. It has, therefore, setup the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) which has introduced a system of accreditation of each program offered by the recognized institutions.

Civil engineering is considered to be the oldest of the main branches of engineering. Two other comparatively older branches are Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. As a result of scientific and technology breakthroughs, today new fields of engineering and technology are continually emerging. At the same time, boundaries between various branches are becoming less and less clear-cut.

Levels of Engineering Education.

Engineering and technical education is available at five levels. At the lowest level is the training in different traded offered by a large number of Industrial Training Institutes (it is) across the country. The duration and eligibility requirements vary depends upon the nature of the trade. At the next higher level are the three year diploma courses in different branches of engineering and technology available in polytechnics. The eligibility requirements for admission to diploma course is a pass in class 10 examination. In some states polytechnic offered post 10+2 diploma and post diploma course also. The first degree programmes leading to B E / degree are four year duration except Architecture (B.Arch) which needs five years to complete. The eligibility requirements for B.E (B.Tech) and B.Arch course is a pass in 10+2 examination in the science stream with mathematics as one of the combinations. The post graduate programmes leading to award of M.E/M.Tech and M.Arch degree are of 18 months duration (Three semesters). Candidates are required to take up a specialized topic in the branch of their study at the first degree level.

IIT Mumbai, IIT New Delhi and IIT Chennai offer integrated M.Tech courses of five year duration. IIT Chennai, IIT New Delhi and IIT Mumbai also offer duel degree programmes of 5 year duration in several branches. A small number of universities offer B.Tech course of three year duration mostly in branches of technology open only to B.Sc degree holders. In many universities, polytechnic diploma holders are permitted lateral entry to the second year of regular B.E / B.Tech programmes through separate entrance tests e.g Lateral Entry Engineering Test (LEET). There is also provision for Certificate holders to enter the Diploma programmes and the Diploma holders to Degree programmes. Admission to degree course, however, is made on the basis of an All India Entrance Test.